Republican presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), flanked by his family, speaks at a primary night rally on March 15, 2016 in Miami, Fla.
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Rubio pans VP slot, praises Cruz but stops short of endorsement

Updated

Former presidential candidate Florida Sen. Marco Rubio told supporters this week Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is now “the only conservative left in the race” — but he said Thursday he has no interest in running as Cruz’s vice president, or anyone else’s for that matter.

“No I’m not going to be anybody’s vice president,” he told reporters when asked if he would consider joining Cruz’s ticket. “I’m not interested in being vice president. I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way.”

MSNBC Live with Thomas Roberts, 3/17/16, 2:28 PM ET

Rubio: 'I'm not interested in being VP'

Senator Marco Rubio spoke to reporters about a wide range of issues on Thursday, including his recently-suspended presidential campaign and why he isn’t interested in being a vice president.
His comments followed a call with his Minnesota supporters during which, according to the Pioneer Press, Rubio praised Cruz’s conservative credentials and said he chose not to take his campaign all the way to the convention because winning in a contested convention “would be pretty much fatal for the party.”

Jeff Johnson, Rubio’s former Minnesota chairman, confirmed to NBC News the veracity of the report.

Asked what he meant by those comments, Rubio told reporters Thursday that “clearly, Ted’s positions on issues are conservative.”

While his comments stopped short of an endorsement, Rubio didn’t shut the door on the prospect, telling reporters only “I don’t have any announcement on that.”

RELATED: Marco Rubio’s campaign highlights and lowlights

Of the other remaining contender in the race, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Rubio said “I like Governor Kasich, it’s just — that was my opinion.”

Rubio returned to the Senate Thursday after suspending his presidential bid on Tuesday night following a loss to GOP front-runner Donald Trump in his home-state primary.

He said that now that he’s dropped out of the presidential race and the GOP field has “narrowed,” he was hopeful Republicans could coalesce around an alternative to GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

“Hopefully there is still time to prevent a Donald Trump nomination, which would fracture the party and be damaging,” Rubio said.

But he offered no clarity on his own political future, telling reporters only he planned to leave politics for a time after his current term in the Senate is done.

“I’m going to finish my term here in Senate, work hard and then be private citizen in January,” he said.

NBC’s Carrie Dann contributed. 

This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com.

The presidential campaign: Ted Cruz
The Texas senator was first to announce his bid back in March, and has since been carefully laying the groundwork for a come-from-behind primary victory.

Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz

Rubio pans VP slot, praises Cruz but stops short of endorsement

Updated